Launch Report, Butner, July 26, 2014

We had another fine summer launch at the Butner Beef Cattle Research Facility this month. The weather was very cooperative in the wind department (there wasn?t any) and very warm.?? The whole purpose of these Triangle-area launches is to bring in new people, and we were very successful in that department this weekend. There were a whole gaggle of children on site when we began the day?s activities, and the flying was thick and fast for a while, so I don?t have all the last names, and I don?t really remember who were the adults and who were the kids.? But it was great to see them all — they filled the sky with rockets for several hours.? Sadie, Owen, and Jarrod Ambrose where there, as was Sophie, and Ellie Mayhew and Joe Gretner.

Two Skidmarks are better than one!  Photo (c) 2014 Jim Fletcher, reprinted with permission

Two Skidmarks are better than one! Photo (c) 2014 Jim Fletcher, reprinted with permission

It was a great pleasure to welcome Jeff Conrad for his first visit to the Butner launch. Jeff has been flying low power with a few of the Virginia groups, but this is his first visit to the Tripoli East NC launches.?? Paul and Aaron Schaefer were on hand with a number of flights, and the one that sticks in my mind was a ?drag-race? between Paul Schaefer, who had his Mini-Devil loaded with a G80 Skidmark, and Jim Scarpine, who was flying his small Standard Arm on an F50 Skidmark. Both of the contestants lit up instantly, and flew perfectly. One Skidmark motor is loud, but 2 at the same time are just amazingly loud!!

I have been running the prefecture for quite a few years now, and I have seen the growth at Whitakers, the move to Battleboro, and the subsequent move to Bayboro, and I have seen a lot of people come and go in the rocketry hobby.?? One of my own personal pleasures is seeing people come back to rocketry who have been gone for many years. This weekend we were all delighted to see Raleigh?s Stan Wilkins, who many Whitakers flyers remember as the genial ?Doctor Bubba?, come out to Butner and fly a bunch of rockets with a young friend from the neighborhood. Stan has been away from rocketry since at least 2007, but he came back strong with several good flights with motors in the C to G range. Stan?s hardest job was a rather long, drawn-out battle with a very old G64W that simply did not want to light. With the help of a lot of patient work and attention from Dave Morey, Stan finally got the thing to light up, and his Astrobee made a perfect flight, after a lot of coaxing. Congratulations to both of you!

We had 2 regulars on hand this weekend who take a lot of care with the finish and paint of their rockets, and always have a lot of very fine models in the truck. Mike Collier and Ron Hill were both in attendance, flying motors from the B up through G range, and doing a fine job of safe recovery. It is always a pleasure working the RSO table when either of those gentlemen bring a rocket to the table: you usually want to wash your hands or put on a pair of cotton gloves to inspect their rockets!!

Ray Bryant brought back his Flippi-fin, a rocket which has spring-loaded fins and flies out of a tube. This time the odd little rocket flew on a D12-7, but it never fails to amaze.

Matt Fletcher spent a great deal of time prepping his 3? rocket, named the Demon, which he eventually flew on a G80 Skidmark. Matt was working the kinks out of a very difficult ?cable-cutter? method for deploying the main parachute from the same compartment that the drogue chute comes out of. The cable-cutter showed us all how difficult it is to make work correctly, and he landed hard with significant damage when the main parachute failed to come out. The system is one of the best ways to get 2 parachutes out of a short rocket, so the data that Matt gathers on this system will help anybody who wants to make a 2-stage recovery vehicle out of a short rocket.

Here is the motor use data, in narrative form: 5 A?s, 5 B?s, 13 C?s, 10 D?s, 7 E?s, 4 F?s, and 4 G?s.?? 48 Flights total.

As always, every flight is listed by total installed impulse of all motors. We have a great illustration from the flights this month. Mile Collier flew a rocket called Eruption on a cluster of 4 C6?s. This flight is listed among the E motor flights.

Join us at Butner on August 16, if you can, and then we will start the regular high-power launches at Bayboro once again.


Alan Whitmore
Prefect, Tripoli East NC

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